Amy Ayanda: The Many Layers of Womxnhood

Among other things, Amy Ayanda is a singer-songwriter, visual artist, daughter and mother. Today marks the release of her latest musical endeavour, “Ab Ovo”, an EP which is dedicated to her mother and explores, with blatant cognition, the power womxn are redefining into today’s society, in owning who they are. The lead single ‘Mama’ was released earlier this week and was written as a push-back to men to attempt to exercise control over womxn’s bodies.

I caught up with her a few days before the release to discuss what went into the project this time around and her forthcoming performance at Endless Daze festival next week.

Skye Mallac: Lets start off with your upcoming EP, which is due to launch this Thursday. What has the creative process been like for this project? From general influences to thematic foundations.

Amy Ayanda: Most of the time we start with a track Daniel has already made, but a lot of them are still at first stages. Then I build melodies and lyrics over them and we build from there. But the intro of the EP I wrote, including the guitar in it.

The creative process of making this has been more meaningful to me now than it did in the past two years in building on it. For many reasons. It feels like life for me is kind of melted down into these tracks. Influences are moment with my mother, moments I have been cat-called and felt angry. Moments with my baby, trying to get her to sleep. Online arguments about things I don’t like to get involved in. These all mean a lot to me.

SM: I know you have worked a lot with Thor Rixon in the past. Have you worked with him again on this EP?

AA: Thor was in studio with us last year when we were working on Mama, he did some additional production work.

SM: You launched a crowdfunding campaign to aid in the creation of the EP. How beneficial was that process in gaining the traction and funds you needed?

AA: The Indiegogo campaign was amazing, people were so responsive and it really gave me a jolt of energy seeing people pre-buying our work. It’s an amazing platform, I highly recommend it!

SM: Are there any particular central themes you focused on in this EP this time around?

AA: Themes were very much around womanhood, telling your own story.

SM: As the other aspect of your creative work is in fine art you have a multi-faceted involvement in the creative sphere. Are there ways in which you marry the two mediums in your creative process? What is currently on the radar for your visual art endeavours?

AA: I am busy focusing my time in my little solo exhibition at Molten Toffee in December, doing commission work and building a stand for the Biscuit Mill! I’ll have a stand there from next year. My work all interlocks of course, sometimes more clearly but sometimes less. It just depends on the flow I’m in I guess.

SM: I know in the past a lot of both your music and your art has gone into celebrating woman and womanhood. Are you still exploring similar themes, utilizing the importance of them in your work?

AA: Yes, always. 

SM: As a mom of a young one, how does this affect your creative processes and art in general? Has it changed how you approach the scene and what you do?

AA: I mean, I’m not cool anymore?

My time during the day I am focusing on Frances, night time is grind time. I will work for about five hours straight if I can. But I am also exhausted most of the time. It’s changed me considerably. I don’t compromise my energy anymore, I prioritize.

SM: You have a performance at Endless Daze coming up next weekend. Anything in particular we expect and look forward to for it?

AA: Yes! We are a five piece for the night, instead of three, and I am super excited! I cannot wait to feel that energy on stage and to play outside! What an honour, I am so excited.

Listen to “Ab Ovo” below.